River Wyre: Fleetwood Marsh Nature Park

River Wyre: Fleetwood Marsh Nature Park

Fleetwood Marsh Nature Park sits on the site of a former power station. After reclamation by Lancashire County Council, 18 hectares of public open space were created. Above photo: by Rob Callighan

The site is currently owned by Lancashire County Council as part of its portfolio of 90 countryside recreation, open space, rural car park, picnic sites and forestry sites. There’s also a fenced off grassed area which is rented by the Fylde Coast Model Flying Association (FCMFA).

Location of Fleetwood Marsh Nature Park

This public open space is on the banks of the River Wyre, between the A585 Amounderness Way and Affinity Lancashire (formerly Freeport Fleetwood).

Google map of Fleetwood Marsh Nature Reserve

Getting There

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Most people would probably get to the site by car – find it at the end of Jameson Road. It’s near to Eros roundabout, the access road leading to the waste recycling site and United Utilities sewage works. Carry right to the very end of the road and you’ll come to a car park.

The site is overlooked by the Redrow houses being built against the docks. There’s also pedestrian access from the Redrow Harbour Village at Windward Ave.

Fleetwood Marsh Nature Park
Fleetwood Marsh Nature Park

What you’ll find at Fleetwood Marsh Nature Park

It’s a lovely place to go for a walk, and very popular with dog owners. It’s teeming with wildlife too.

Hard standing footpaths make access quite easy. The hard paths are ideal when conditions are wet, or if you’ve got mobility issues. Why not head off into the open grassland from the beaten track.

Decorative pieces of public art (like the iron gateway in the first photo) break up the flat landscape and lead you from the footpath. Perfect for photographers to snap from different angles, as the evening sun sets in the west and casts its red shadows.

Fleetwood Marsh Nature Park
Fleetwood Marsh Nature Park

Wildlife… and more wildlife

Wear your wellies and head away from the hard standing paths to explore the ponds and wetlands and get closer to the wildlife.

Common reeds have taken over the disused railway track, with scrub and wildflower varieties developing year by year. There’s restricted access to two of the lagoons, to allow wildlife to flourish there, undisturbed.

Biological Heritage Site

As with the rest of Morecambe Bay and the Wyre Estuary, Fleetwood Marsh Nature Park is an important habitat for migratory birds which roost in the reeds. It’s a Biological Heritage Site because of the plants which grow there and the nesting birds that they attract.

A couple of breeding pairs of Reed Warblers have been regularly seen – this is close to the northern limit of their range. Snipe and Water Rail frequently visit in winter. Skylarks dance above along with a pair of visiting buzzards. Plus grebes, tufted ducks, swans and shoveler ducks and lots of herons.

The host of wildflowers are irresistible to summer insects when the fields dance with butterflies. You’ll see Common Blue and Red Admiral along with many other butterflies and moths.

Banks of the River Wyre

You can also get to the banks of the River Wyre, where you’ll find interesting bits of shipwrecked boats.

Be careful, but have fun imagining the past. What adventures might have happened to the boats that now lie decomposing in the mudflats?

Boats at Fleetwood Marsh Nature Park. Photo: Gary Kenyon
Boats at Fleetwood Marsh Nature Park. Photo: Gary Kenyon

Wyre Way Footpath

Fleetwood Marsh Nature Park is also on the Wyre Way footpath. It runs around the coast from Fleetwood to the River Wyre at Stanah.

The Wyre Way is an existing footpath, in two parts:

  • Footpath 13 runs along the coast from where it picks up the Lancashire Coastal path at Rossall Point.
  • Footpath no 8 connects the coastal path no 13 to Fleetwood Road.

The Wyre Estuary Coastal Path Project aims to create a high quality footpath along the full route of the existing right of way. The aim is to make it accessible to all, linking the Wyre Estuary Country Park to Fleetwood Marsh Nature Park.

Handover to Fleetwood Town Council

On 13 March 2018  Fleetwood Town Council agreed to work in partnership with LCC for a 12 month pilot period to manage the day to day running of the site, with costs shared equally from 1st April 2018. At the end of the 12 month period the plan was for the Town Council and LCC to review progress, with a view to the Town Council assuming full custodianship. On 29 January 2019, the 12 month working partnership was extended to April 2020.

Both councils wish to get the best from the space and encourage visitors, community events, nature conservation and educational activities at Fleetwood Marsh Nature Park.

While you’re here…

Have a look at the homepage of the Visit Fleetwood website for more of the latest updates.

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What do you think? Leave a comment below

3 Comments
  1. Avatar

    We would like to know whom we should contact regarding the damage being done by the cutting down of the natural growth of flora, grasses and shrubs of the riverbank alongside the marsh, at Harbour Village, Fleetwood FY7 6FE by certain residents who face the river frontage. Regardless of them being told by Natural England that they are not allowed to damage the banking and its many wild flowers and shrubs, plus damage to the bird nesting sites within this area and the many insects and small wildlife. They are cutting it down for their own purpose of a view from their properties, regardless of the fact that we live on this special natural area.

    1. Avatar

      Hi Michael, I would suggest that you contact Wyre Council and ask for the Waterfront Rangers. You are absolutely right in your comments about habitat, but perhaps your neighbours don’t understand that they are also damaging their own natural flood defence. The roots and growth of the plants bind the river bank together and removing them will make the section vulnerable to rising/flowing flood waters. Perhaps you could explain this to them, I’m sure the Rangers will be able to.

  2. Avatar

    What has happened to the swans on the marsh reserve an adult vanished early in the year and now one of the 6 signets have gone ?

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